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Sweet Sixteen is a 1983 American slasher film directed by Jim Sotos and starring Bo Hopkins, Susan Strasberg, Dana Kimmell, and Patrick Macnee.

Sweet Sixteen
Poster of Sweet Sixteen (1983 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJim Sotos
Produced byJim Sotos
Written byErwin Goldman
Music byRay Ellis
Tommy Vig
CinematographyJames L. Carter
Edited byDrake Silliman
Sweet Sixteen Productions
Productions Two
Distributed byCentury International
Release date
  • August 5, 1983 (1983-08-05)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States


Melissa Morgan is new in town and meets Hank Burke and Johnny Franklin outside of a bar. Johnny invites Melissa for a ride in his truck, and leave Hank to walk home. They make out in a secluded spot, and Johnny scares her by saying it is an Indian burial ground and she demands that he drive her home.

As they sit in front of her house, Melissa says they are in town for a couple months because her father's work on an archeological dig, and her mother is from the area. Melissa's dad, John, catches them and orders Johnny to leave because Melissa's only 15. Johnny gets stranded on the side of the road and starts walking when he's stabbed to death by an unseen assailant.

Dan Burke, Hank's dad and the sheriff, gets a call from Billy Franklin, Johnny's older brother about Johnny not coming home last night and the missing truck. Dan takes Hank and his sister, Marci, to go look for the truck. They find it, with no signs of foul play and Marci finds Johnny's body.

At the school, Dan gets permission from Melissa's parents, John and Joanne, to ask her questions. Melissa said she saw a Native American man outside of the bar. He is determined to be Jason Longshadow, a man hired on by John for the dig. Dan and John go to question Jason and says nothing happened.

At school, Melissa meets Tommy Jackson and they make plans to hang out that evening and behind Earl's bar. While Tommy is waiting for Melissa, he is stabbed to death by the unseen assailant. Melissa runs into an older Indian man, Greyfeather, and begins to scream when she sees Tommy's dead body. Melissa tells Dan Greyfeather did it because he was standing over the body.

Dan goes to question Greyfeather at his house, but finds that he has been hanged. Reports list it as suicide, but Dan believes it's a murder done by bigots wanting vigilante justice. After attending a funeral, Marci confronts Melissa about lying and accusations towards Greyfeather. Marci then apologizes to her and they become good friends.

At the police station, John tells Dan that he fired Jason for theft because artifacts, including 5 knives, from the dig have gone missing. Dan goes out to question Jason, who is not home, so Dan lets himself in and finds the missing 5 knives hidden in a trunk. Joanne throws Melissa an elaborate 16th birthday party and BBQ, which is attended by Hank and Marci.

Dan checks out the county records of murders with similar MO's, but feels something is off and that Jason is not the killer. Dan learns that blood was found on one of the knives was tested and is revealed to be animal blood. and is being tested to see if its a murder weapon. Jason breaks out of jail to confront Jimmy and Billy about Greyfeather's death.

Melissa and Hank decide to go skinny dipping where they are watched by Jimmy and Billy, when Jason arrives. Melissa watches the two subdue Jason, and then they knock Hank and Melissa out, and the unseen assailant kills the two men.

While Marci is looking for Melissa and Hank, one of the dying men grabs her ankle. Dan arrives to find Joanne with Melissa's body, and reveals that her name is Tricia, who is the sister of Joanne. In a delusion, Tricia believes Melissa is Joanne. Dan grabs Melissa and Joanne stabs herself in the stomach. It is revealed that Tricia assumed Joanne's identity after she died in the state mental hospital. Tricia killed her father to protect Joanne and had a mental breakdown after she died. She believed that by killing men, she was protecting Joanne. As the party ends, Melissa is shown to be in a trance, holding a bloody knife.



The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Century International, opening August 5, 1983 in Detroit, Michigan.[1]

Home mediaEdit

A director's cut of the film was released on DVD in the United States by Code Red in 2008.[2] Code Red also issued a limited Blu-ray release in the United States on August 11, 2015.[3]

The film received a limited edition Blu-ray release in the United Kingdom by 88 Films in 2018.[4]


In a review for eFilmCritic, Dr. Isaksson[5] gave the film a positive review with much of his praise going towards the lead performances stating, "Ever like a film just because of the cast involved and the overall set up, no matter how ridiculous? This is my love/hate relationship with 1982's Sweet 16. I am a fan of the underground actor (who has been in a few aboveground movies) Steve Antin, (Jonathan Antin's much more endearing and talented brother). And good lord, I cannot express or explain how much I fancy the slasher ingenue Dana Kimmell. It was the beautiful brunette's co-starring role in this horror film that became the catalyst for her being cast by director Steve Miner for the epic 3D installment of the Jason cut em ups, Friday the 13th part III. One look at Ms. Kimmell and he knew he had his replacement for Amy Steel. So certainly it comes as no shocker that in Sweet 16 Dana shows off some serious screaming ability and for this film, it was a handy talent. Now, all this being stated, I am not hinting that these above mentioned horror films are really anything more than pure drivel but damn, what a nice looking spot of drool it is."


  1. ^ "La Parisien". Detroit Free Press. Detroit, Michigan. August 4, 1983. p. 10D – via Sts. Fri: Sweet Sixteen  
  2. ^ "Sweet Sixteen (DVD)". Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  3. ^ "Sweet Sixteen Blu-ray: Limited to 1,700 Units". Archived from the original on March 23, 2019.
  4. ^ "Sweet Sixteen - Slasher Classics Collection 33". 88 Films. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  5. ^ "Sweet 16 (1983)". eFilmCritic. February 25, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2018.

External linksEdit